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03 January 2009 @ 11:17 pm
Flyover Post...  
Sorry about being so absentee these last couple of weeks. There's always lots to do around the holidays, and then the kids are at home all day and nothing seems to get done-- posting, reading, home projects. Today alone was a scattered attempt to put away Xmas lights, pay bills, check on the mortgage refi situation, launder curtains, get Lauren's room ready for some wallpapering, and go out on a date. Whew!

We saw Australia tonight. While we liked it (Hugh Jackman was gorgeous, Nicole Kidman was good, the scenery was different and wonderful) we both thought it was overrated. Someone really needed to wrangle that story into shape-- there was a natural ending around 2:20 in where all the heroes/villains were taken care of and some concluding emphasis would have cemented things. Why the WWII detour for the next hour-plus? And Luhrmann really should have decided which story to tell-- the injustice to Aborigines would have made a fine movie on its own, certainly a more important one than the main story. This was just a mess, unnecessarily long. Pretty, but out-of-control.

At home, we've been watching Extras, S1, which is a piece of looniness from Ricky Gervais. Movie extras wander from the background of one film to another, trying to finagle actual speaking lines (or unnoticed screen time). Their lack of talent works against them, and sometimes their agents-- one man discovers that the cover letter his agent has been sending around reads more like a pity plea: "God knows why this overweight, middle-aged, average-looking guy wants to be an actor, but if you can help make his dream come true, then please call."

We're also trying out Burn Notice, and liking it so far. Snappy writing, dry humor, and funny narrative on the how-tos of being a down-on-your-luck former spy who takes random jobs for money while trying to figure out who screwed him over. Features duct tape and zip-strip as important parts of an impromptu weapons arsenal!

I asked for the original Guitar Hero for Xmas, to get some of the songs on that version. Yay for "Smoke On The Water" and "Killer Queen!" Major rotten tomatoes for "I Love Rock And Roll," which was and is stupid, pointless, and repetitive-- a deadly combination for this game, where you need to pay attention. I'm on the Shredder tunes right now, trying to beat "Crossroads" on Hard. Ouch.

Christopher got NCAA Football 2009 for Xmas, and has the hang of it now. The first day was a lot of yelling (you can control your team, but the other team is allowed to be devious), one period of such constant whistle-blowing that I thought his quarterback must have become the king of intentional grounding, and (still) a LOT of repetition of the Cal fight song (now stuck in my head). Best feature? Mascot Mashup, where your football teams are populated with your chosen schools' mascots. Oscie Bears vs. bunches of cloth hornets! Oranges running around on useless little legs (Syracuse)! Stanford isn't included (Cardinal as "red"), but I wonder if the Buckeyes are?

The rest of our days have been "No pity-kibbles for the cats!" and "Christopher, go outside" and "Turn off the video game now," punctuated by some bowling and miniature golf.

And far too little ficcing! :(

ETA: Here's what comes of being away so long-- apparently I need to post my Yuletide story for real. D'OH! Late already!

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The Good, The Bad and The Lana: smilie priyankathelana on January 4th, 2009 07:58 am (UTC)
Burn Notice = lots of fun :)
The Coalition For Disturbing Metaphors: heh-hehhalfshellvenus on January 4th, 2009 08:01 am (UTC)
It's one that Netflix recommended for me (so is Extras), and so far so good! Love the snarky tone to the writing, the dreaded relationship with his mother, and the sidekicks who won't go away. \o/
wrldpossibility: art girls kosciukwrldpossibility on January 4th, 2009 02:51 pm (UTC)
And Luhrmann really should have decided which story to tell-- the injustice to Aborigines would have made a fine movie on its own, certainly a more important one than the main story. This was just a mess, unnecessarily long. Pretty, but out-of-control.

Precisely what I thought. Thanks for articulating that so well. I still enjoyed the film, due to the scenery and the acting skill, but yeah...there were two storylines competing; too much he was trying to say.
The Coalition For Disturbing Metaphorshalfshellvenus on January 4th, 2009 07:14 pm (UTC)
We enjoyed it too, but not only was it overly long, the reasons WHY it was overly long were too obvious to ignore.

One of those cases where you think, "This person needed an editor, or at least some strong pushback on the story." :0
post-apocalypse shenanigansbrynwulf on January 4th, 2009 03:29 pm (UTC)
Thanks for the commentary on Australia, because as much as I want to see it, too, I think I'll wait for Netflix so I can use the pause and "come back later" button. :)
The Coalition For Disturbing Metaphorshalfshellvenus on January 4th, 2009 07:15 pm (UTC)
That way you can stop and have dinner, go for a walk, or whatever in the middle of its 3+ hour length and not make yourself crazy!

The scenery is gorgeous on the big screen (even though some of it is very bleak compared to what I grew up with), but now I'm not sure it was worth going for that alone. Only one theater is still showing it in this area, so DVD would have been a better bet for us too!
cindy: fangirltsuki_no_bara on January 4th, 2009 04:05 pm (UTC)
pity-kibbles! heee.

isn't burn notice great? snarky and fun with lots of explosives. i love the voiceovers.
The Coalition For Disturbing Metaphors: heh-hehhalfshellvenus on January 4th, 2009 07:17 pm (UTC)
pity-kibbles! heee.

And I'm sure you know exactly what I mean by that! I find them on the floor where the cat-dish is before we pull it up (both cats need to lose some weight), and yesterday there was a whole pile in the cats' beds. That is not helping the chubbiness situation!

I'm getting a real kick out of Burn Notice. One more episode on this disk and then we'll have to wait for a new shipment!
dr. henry killingerliberateourtime on January 4th, 2009 06:49 pm (UTC)
Ugh, I have a friend who saw Australia and practically peed himself over it. He's going around claiming it's "the new Casablanca." :/
The Coalition For Disturbing Metaphorshalfshellvenus on January 4th, 2009 07:23 pm (UTC)
Because it's set during WWII? Because it contains romance?

Hugely overrated film, in my opinion. Not a bad movie at all, but it doesn't deserve all the accolades it's getting!

Imagine "Casablanca" with part of "Roots" woven through it to make it more unfocused. How is that even in the same ballpark as Casablanca itself? :0
B: Grin - RHstrifechaos on January 15th, 2009 09:42 pm (UTC)
It sounds like your holidays went similarly to ours, very busy and constantly doing things but somehow being unable to actually get done what you'd planned or thought you'd do. If that makes sense. *shakes head*

I was wondering if Australia was something worthwhile to see or not. I love Hugh Jackman, and I've been to Australia, but even in the previews it didn't seem to have a readily available storyline; and that's with most movies entire plot normally being given away through their previews nowadays.

I will have to check out Extras, I've seen it at the store a few times when I've gone in, but I've never really heard anything about it, one way or the other. Still, it sounds amusing.

Burn Notice is loads of fun, my sister got me hooked on it when it first started airing on USA and we've been avid fans ever since. Michael Weston is very entertaining, and pretty to look at, and the goofy yogurt consumption to his continual 'How To Be a Spy' rambles are very entertaining. As are the supporting cast, his mother especially.

I've heard a lot about Guitar Hero but never actually seen it/played it before. My one cousin did say she got a bit addicted to playing it over Christmas though. ;)

The rest of our days have been "No pity-kibbles for the cats!"

Hee. ^__^

How's the rest of your new year been going?

The Coalition For Disturbing Metaphorshalfshellvenus on January 17th, 2009 08:05 am (UTC)
but somehow being unable to actually get done what you'd planned or thought you'd do.
Yes-- there's lots of activity, but no traction on the things you intend to do.

but even in the previews it didn't seem to have a readily available storyline; and that's with most movies entire plot normally being given away through their previews nowadays.
There's "too much story" altogether, which is why it's not easily summarized. Too many things are covered for the scope of the movie, and the result is kind of unwieldy.

I will have to check out Extras, I've seen it at the store a few times when I've gone in, but I've never really heard anything about it, one way or the other. Still, it sounds amusing.
We've seen 3 more episodes, and it keeps getting better. #6 featured Patrick Stewart as the week's 'star,' and it let him be funny. Great comic gifts, but we rarely see them. And there was occasion for the main character (Andy) to go out on negotiations with his agent, revealing that he really should have locked the agent in the trunk of his car instead. And then fired him afterwards. :0

I've heard a lot about Guitar Hero but never actually seen it/played it before.
It's just tons of fun. My nephew brought it up to my parents' at Xmas time a year ago, and soon afterward I had to buy it for myself! It's great!

How's the rest of your new year been going?
Not as much writing as before, thanks to some shifts in medication and god-knows-what-all, because my only real writing time is late at night these days and now I'm too sleepy to stay awake! We're having "false spring" in our area right now, which makes the outdoor cycling much easier (thank goodness). This is a yearly event, always sometime in January/February, and it's irresistible when December can be SO cold.

Decorations are all put away, we're out doing the Girl Scout Cookie sales right now, and I'm trying to get the yard squared away (prune back stuff and clear out the dead annuals/perennials. TONS of that). And we're refinancing the mortgage down from a 30-year (with about 23 years left, but I've been paying extra) to 15-year. THAT news is great.

Are you still in school now? Full-time, or part-time?